After a Breakup Counseling and Treatment
Experiencing a breakup can be very consuming and often takes time to process and recover. Experiencing a breakup of any relationship can feel exhausting and often brings on many emotions. Online therapy can help you in your journey to feeling better. Online counseling may help you build your self-esteem during a breakup.
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Surviving a Breakup
Firstly, there are many emotions to process, some of which may last longer than others and feel more intense. Surviving a breakup may mean that you become closer than ever to your support network, including family and friends. It is a time when acknowledging what you are feeling may relieve feeling better. Finding yourself again may include starting new hobbies, meeting new people, and perhaps learning new skills.
After a breakup, there might be practical solutions such as co-parenting, housing, and shared responsibilities. Relationship counseling may be beneficial in your journey to exploring whether or not the marriage will flourish. A psychologist or counselor may provide you with the support and information you need.
Ending a Marriage
Ending a marriage and going through the divorce process is not an easy process, and it is most likely one of the most difficult decisions we are faced with. However, you’re not alone, and many people find support at 7 Cups when experiencing a breakup. Many people struggle for a significant amount of time before they decide whether to leave their marriage or not. Speaking to someone impartial, like a therapist, may help you to make decisions that are right for you in your life right now. Often, you may experience advice and guidance from friends and family, but it is sometimes not focused on what strategies are best for you. Talking to a therapist when you’re thinking of your marriage can support both of you in making the right decision.
Only you know the answer to the situation you’re facing. You may ask yourself a few questions to discover how you feel about the marriage:
- Do you feel as if you have nothing more to give to your spouse?
- Do you feel indifferent towards your spouse?
- Do you feel your spouse treats you negatively?
- Has there been a long history of abuse, whether emotional, financial, physical, or psychological?
- Is there a complete breakdown of intimacy?
Signs You’re In a Toxic Relationship
Toxic relationships are very damaging, and you may have your suspicions you’re in one because of the constant and consuming problems you may be facing in your relationship. If you feel constantly tired or drained from being in your relationship, then you may need to see if the relationship is healthy or not. Depending on the nature of the relationship, signs of toxicity can be very subtle or very intense, and they vary with the frequency of intensity.
You may also experience in a toxic relationship that there is a consistent lack of support for you, whether that is in your career, goals, or life circumstances, and you may find yourself spending time alone. Control issues may appear in your relationship, like your partner getting upset because you didn’t respond to all of their texts even though you were at work. Feeling stressed often is another sign that things are not working out as they should be.
The Emotional and Physical Symptoms
The emotional and physical symptoms of a breakup vary from person to person because no relationship between two people is ever the same. Between the crushing pangs of sadness to feeling isolated, it can be very overwhelming to process and cope with a breakup. Research has suggested that coping through a breakup is one of the most stressful experiences an individual can go through. It means you are essentially going through the grieving process; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The emotional symptoms of a breakup include:
- Anger and frustration
- Depression and anxiety
- Periods of crying and feeling hopeless
- Longing and bargaining to get back with the individual
- Loss of interest and motivation in the activities that you enjoy
- Spending less time devoted to building your friendships with others
- Thoughts of death or suicide
The physical symptoms of a breakup include:
- Disruptions to your eating patterns (eating too much or too little)
- Losing or gaining weight
- Skin changes, including acne
These symptoms are typically observed in those struggling with a breakup. Still, if they are prolonged and cause you difficulties in your daily functioning for longer than two weeks, it is vital that you consult with a physician or therapist. Experiencing a breakup is overwhelming, and you must provide yourself with self-care and all of the nurturing you need to get through this challenging period in your life.
Dealing with Feelings of Sadness and Loneliness
Whether you are experiencing a significant amount of stress or just going through the motions of the adjustment period, it is possible to find relief from how you are currently feeling. You may find that you have more time to connect with friends and loved ones which offers you hope. Caring for yourself and others may also help you find relief from the experiences that you are going through, and creating goals in your life may help you to find meaning and purpose. Perhaps there were some elements of your life that you put on hold or did not focus on as much?
Experiencing a Loss of Identity
Losing a sense of your identity after a breakup can mean you feel isolated and depressed. After many years of being someone’s “other half,” you may find that you are struggling to find purpose in your life. Your identity will gradually shift from being in a partnership to one where you are single.
Assess your world honestly and acknowledge that the pain may feel like you have lost a part of yourself, but it does get better. Are you often giving too much of yourself away? How can you bring some of this back into caring for yourself? Do you feel like you have placed your self-love in the hands of someone else? Perhaps this is a good indicator that you need to find yourself and offer yourself the same amount of self-love. If you look to your outer world, how much of yourself are you giving away to others? You may want to focus on finding yourself and who you truly are and finding all of the components that make up your true self. Self-care is crucial to finding yourself after a breakup of a long-term relationship.
Personal Growth and Development
Personal growth and development can be found when you are connecting with yourself and finding purpose and meaning in all of the things in life that make you happy. Meditation can really help you to find yourself, to set positive intentions, and quieten the mind. You may wish to meditate daily or gradually build this into a habit, and that is okay! A gratitude journal may help you find the benefits in your life that you may not always realize, especially after a breakup and coping through intense experiences.
How to Move Forward
Use the breakup to become the best version of yourself and to learn through the growth mindset what the pain has taught you and how you can use it to experience healthier relationships. Healing takes time and accepting that it will not be a “quick fix” can help you move forward.
Let yourself process the grief - The only way out is through, and by allowing yourself to feel, you can move forward and feel better. It is going to take time, but it is possible. The five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, are crucial to learning how to move forward without the one we lost.
Acceptance of the healing process - Healing times time, and it will often be a time of discovering that the healing process will take time for you to feel better. There is no timetable or schedule, and it happens when it happens, and patience is crucial to feeling yourself again — honor where you are at every moment.
No replacements! - Often when we are struggling with the end of a relationship breakup with our ex, we might be tempted to find someone else, and there can be many reasons for this, including loneliness, feeling like we have a broken heart. This only means we are trying to replace a void and usually is not successful in the long-term and often leads to more heartbreak, and we may struggle to see our future with clarity. Our past relationship may taint the process of finding someone else and may hold us back in the short term during the recovery process.
Find support that works for you - Online therapy will support you in your mental health journey through the first steps to coping with the breakup in a way that works for you. 7 Cups is an on-demand emotional support platform and a caring and thriving community of people that support one another. The 7 Cups Community has helped over 60 million people in emotional distress since 2013. The community is available globally in 189 countries and 140 languages. We provide 1:1 free support sessions with a trained listener, personalized growth paths to help you feel better and online therapy with licensed therapists and counselors. Available on the app or web - find a safe space that works for you.
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Scott is a licensed mental health counselor with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field.
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Dr. Leslie Carr is a licensed clinical psychologist who works as both a therapist and a coach.